The European tradition of plein-air aquarelle (on-site watercolor) has become an American institution due in part to the efforts of several turn of the century American artists, of which Alice Schille was one. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Schille devoted herself to creating work that exuded energy and spontaneity, a mingling of color and brush stroke that embraced many cultures and spanned nearly a century.
Schille had a privileged upbringing and, unlike many artists, was therefore not constrained by financial matters. In fact, such an upbringing empowered her to face the limitations imposed on many young women in late 19th century society. This relative freedom enabled her to receive an advanced education and to travel the world extensively.
Between the years 1891-1893 Schille attended the Columbus Art School. She later attended the Art Students League in New York City and the New York School of Art, where she studied under the renowned artist William Merritt Chase. Chase later invited Schille to study at his Shinnecock Summer School of Art, considered the foremost school of its kind in the nation. Schille then visited Europe where she spent several years travelling between its many art centers. She spent this time studying the best of continental art and painting the many beautiful locations she discovered.
Upon her return to the U.S. in 1904, Schille began teaching at the Columbus Art School, where she remained until 1928. During this time, she exhibited throughout the country and continued her travels to such places as New Mexico, France, North Africa, Turkey, Mexico, and Guatemala during her summer breaks.
Schille's work presents everyday life in brilliant, playful color. She followed the fin de siècle tradition of depicting the ordinary, but she did not restrict her subject matter to the activities of the leisure class as so many of her contemporaries did. Her work is invariably and notably confident and unsentimental, demonstrating her mastery of the temperamental watercolor medium.
Alice Schille's works appear in the permanent collections of the Art Club of Philadelphia, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Fine Art Museum of San Francisco, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Ohio State University, the Colby College Art Museum, the El Paso Museum of Art and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. She received awards from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, in which she won the gold medal.
Actively seeking works by Alice Schille.